Thank goodness for trees!

We British are never happy with the weather are we? After complaining all week about it raining and hoping for a dry weekend we then spent all of the Tatton event saying it was too hot.It did get up to about 30 degrees so there was a big difference between that and the grey wet weather earlier.

Thankfully we were camped near some very shady trees so spent a lot of the weekend in this beautiful spot, sitting catching up with friends before roasting on the battlefield.

Tatton - Trees 1

Tatton - Trees 2

Tatton - Trees 3

Tatton - Trees 4

I managed to do some interviews for my doctorate, among them the man who plays King Edward at Tewkesbury, Mike who is a gunner and a new member of a friend’s group, Sian, who was skinning and tanning rabbits.

This is beautiful tent belonging to Dave the king, the paintings on the hangings are done by his wife.He has very impressive fluted armour which looks wonderful on the battlefield.

Tatton - Kings Tent

Here is Mike with his flintlock, he is normally a hand-gunner in the battles and also has taken part in displays with larger guns as part of the gun crew.

Tatton - Mike with gun 1

Tatton - Mike with gun 2

Sian was skinning and cooking with the rabbits on Saturday and on Sunday the heat had meant that she was able to start the process of de-fleshing the skins to use the hide, normally that would take 3 days.

Tatton - Sian with rabbit skin 1

This is one of the larger skins from a previous tanning, it is so beautifully soft.

Tatton - Sian with rabbit skin 2

In this photo you can see the difference between the skins still with the flesh on them in the left of the picture and the finished skin. It was fascinating to watch her doing the whole process.

I know that I normally include some lovely costume pictures for you but it was so hot we were all dressed down for most of the time, here is our friend Dave in a fetching combination of medieval undergarments, sunnies, straw hat and trainers back at camp.

Tatton - Dave in soft kit

We had a lovely weekend and are really looking forward to next weekend when we are going camping in North Wales, just a little holiday for Ellie and I visiting some Trust properties though friends are at an event at Conwy Castle so may pop in and see them there.

Hope you have a great week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Family Heirlooms

During our recent craft evening at Rosemari’s house I was able to take some pictures of the things that she has been working on and with. She has inherited her grandmother’s sewing box containing a lot of unfinished items so for the last year has been working on this hexagon quilt which is now completed.

Rosemari's quilt

This is a Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern with smaller flowers in between the flowers, a very apt pattern for an inherited quilt! This Pinterest page has lots more pictures of this type of pattern, they are so pretty and were really popular as a quilt pattern. There is some more information on the pattern and links to instructions here at Patterns from History.

The quilt is a fascinating mixture of fabrics and many of them had the backing cards still in them, I love vintage things like these, not just for the item but for the social history aspect of them as well. It has been really lovely to see the progress on this quilt.

Rosemari has now decided to make a patchwork back to the quilt in the colours that will suit her bedroom decor so that it can be used which means she will have a great combination of her work and her grandmother’s.

The other thing she has are some embroidery cases containing stitching thread. The threads are not vintage but the cases are. This one is made of linen with beautiful embroidered flowers that are very similar in design to some of the ones I have on tablecloths and other vintage stash.

Rosemari's stitching roll 2

These embroideries were probably sold as transfers or given away free in magazines which explains why there are so many similar ones. With some of the ones that I have just been using for my log cabin blocks you can still see the blue outline of the transfer.

If you want to have a look at some more vintage motifs there are lots of sites that offer them for free, this one French Knots   has over 300 motifs to print off. The brilliant NeedlenThread site also has a vintage embroidery page with links. This site also has lots of other beautiful free embroidery patterns to print off.

Rosemari's stitching roll 3

Rosemari's stitching roll 4

Rosemari is now working on one of the embroideries that were left as well, it is about half completed and as you can see she has all the threads she needs for that and any more she wants to do.

Rosemari's stitching roll 1

It is lovely that she is able to carry on, not only the tradition of stitching but also her grandmother’s actual work. It makes them very special pieces.

I have been doing lots of embroidery myself over the weekend and have been having a lovely relaxing time, hope that you have had a nice weekend as well and thanks for visiting.

Little Pretties

I am very much looking forward to the weekend ahead, I have some time off in lieu of all the marking that I have been doing the last few weeks so have a four day weekend to look forward to 🙂

There will of course be much crafting and hopefully a couple of walks with Jake and Ted the dog. Hoping for some blue skies as we have had a dreadful week here, gales and cold wet weather, not at all summery.

However there has been distraction in the form of very pretty fabric being delivered. I was in need of more Liberty to widen my choice of patterns for the vintage log cabins so was very pleased to find some new suppliers of Liberty who offered different selections.

Liberty squares 1

This first set came from Zuzucrafts on Ebay who have lots of choice of colourways in their packs, this is a 5″ by 5″ scrap pack. Lots of gorgeous little prints!

Liberty squares 2

Then I found a mini charm pack of Liberty from Vickbmouth at Ebay. There are 50 squares in this pack and they are perfect for making the sorts of needle books and pincushions that I have done for Sarah for Yarndale.

Liberty charm pack 1

Liberty charm pack 2

Liberty charm pack 3

My final purchase for this week, though I really must stop buying fabric now 😉 ,was a scrap pack of Lecien fabrics, which I have taken a selection from for the picture below.

Lecien fabrics 1

I have wanted some of these ever since seeing them on Jenny of Elefantz’s blog. I am also planning to use these with some of the vintage embroidery for log cabins and they came from Pretty Fabrics and Trims.

They sent me a lovely personalised e-mail to confirm my order and then this little tag on the order, what great customer service. They asked me to share what I make with the scraps which I will do.

Lecien fabrics 3

I really love all of the small flower prints and may turn some of these into little house pincushions like the one in the first photo again as I gave away all the last ones to the girls at our recent craft evening.

Lecien fabrics 2

I have finished the Splendid Sampler block which I was embroidering, this was on my to do list for this year and I love the way that it has turned out.Excuse the photo quality, no light here this morning!

Elefantz Splendid Sampler completed 1

I altered the design slightly from the original which I posted about earlier and used variegated Cottage Garden hand dyed thread that I got from Quilted Hearts. This is being made into a hanging for my craft room.

I am currently stitching another one of Jenny’s designs in variegated thread as well, a gorgeous bird design which is one of her free designs from here. I will probably finish that over the weekend as her designs are so quick to do and so beautiful.I am hooked on Orange is the New Black on Netflix again, am half way through Season 4 in preparation for the new season which is released today.

So I do hope you all have plans for a lovely weekend as well, I am feeling very happy and relaxed at the moment, it has been a great year in my new role and I am looking forward to a summer full of fun stuff and lots of opportunity to use my new fabric!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Come rain, come shine!

Well of course it was like most Ashby events, somewhat wet in parts. We did at least have glorious sunshine on the Sunday, it was very hot in the afternoon for the tournament and then we had a lovely evening and it started raining after we went to bed and never really stopped.

So we were not able to do much on Monday except a few demos like our head dress talk. Here are Ellie and I sewing coifs for the poor. At least we got some lovely pictures from Sunday.

Ashby - Ellie and me sewing -small

Here is what I think must be my favourite one of all time, Luke was doing his armour talk while getting dressed for the tournament and he had just put on his great helm and was telling the crowd that he could still see in front of him but not what was happening behind him so I took that opportunity to do a little happy dance for the crowd 😉

Ashby - me and Luke -small

He knew nothing about it until this appeared on our Facebook page later in the day. Thanks to Adam Kucharczyk for these brilliant pictures.

Ashby - Ellie and King - small

I love this one of Ellie in her new crown with the King.

Ashby - Group -small

And here are all of the group at the end of the tournament, we have new fighters this year so it was great to see so many people in the arena.

Ashby 2017 Luke and Mark

The boys had new kit as well, of course. They have been making some beautiful things. Here is Mark in his new coat and chaperon hood.

Luke’s partner Wendy had made him a new chaperon as well and he had a new hat, a bycocket courtesy of the mega -talented Kat of Kat’s Hats.

I didn’t get a picture of the stunning goldwork on the front however Kat had posted this one on her page, she is such a brilliant embroider.

Ashby - Detail of goldwork

The boys looked amazing in their armour as usual, Luke has new leg armour to match his colours.

Ashby Luke in full armour - small

Symon has been doing leather work and has made this wonderful coat of plates and belt, it is all hand tooled, he had to cut out all of the leather from the leaf pattern by hand, just beautiful!

Ashby Symon coat and belt 1

I am very proud of the group and look forward to lots of lovely events with them this year.

Hope that you like the pictures, there is also some video of the fights on our Facebook page as well if you are interested.

Will be back next week with an update on an embroidery finish, until then have a good weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

Vintage and useful

One of the reasons that I collect vintage embroidery is that I can’t bear the thought of someone’s work not being appreciated. All those women who have sat over the centuries doing their, ‘work’, for it to languish unloved in the corner of a charity shop is so sad.So I have to rescue them.

Some of the things I have rescued have been turned into little ornaments and pincushions but this is the first time that I have made something large and very useful with them.

So here is the lovely vintage log cabin bag!

Vintage log cabin bag 1

As modelled by my lovely son Jake, four of the blocks were stitched together for the front. I decided against sashing, partly as I was short of fabric, the denim is from one of his old shirts so the bag is 50% recycled.

The bottom of the bag is boxed out using two inch cut outs, using the same technique that I have been using for the pouches. There are also long handles sewn to the top edge before the lining was stitched over them and a small closing flap with a magnetic clasp.

Vintage log cabin bag 5

I did but new fabric for the lining from Simply Solids as I needed half a metre and did not have that much in my stash, this is Dashwood fabric but am not sure of the name of it.

Vintage log cabin bag 3

I put in two pockets and even managed to work out how to trim them with some more of that lovely Liberty print that is in all of the blocks.There is a patch pocket at the back as well.

All my own design cobbled together from various bag ideas and some of the tote bags I already have in my craftroom. I love it and will be using it lots this summer 🙂

Vintage log cabin bag 2

I have just got some more Liberty from Alice Caroline as have decided to make more of these blocks, they are very soothing to do and so quick to put together that I shall do these when I have a spare half an hour here and there.

This is my favourite Liberty supplier, I love her website, look at that banner! I would love someone to buy me all these prints, what a rainbow of loveliness.

Alice Caroline Banner

I have got lots of other ideas for using my vintage stash on Pinterest, here are some of my favourites.

Vintage Crinoline Lady cushion

This lovely cushion features the crinoline lady, I have a few of those in my stash and is from Nostalgia at the Stone House blog. Nikki the owner of the blog makes beautiful dolls as well out of vintage fabrics and lace.

Vintage hexagons

And look at these gorgeous hexagons from Brodibidouillages  , I did make some like these a while ago as shown  below but had trouble with the edging so must dig them out and try again.

bee quilt progress

There are some beautiful things on this blog Isa Creative Musings as well, so much inspiration!

We are off to Ashby de la Zouche castle this weekend again for our annual show there, praying for fine weather. It has been so hot for the last two days here while I have been inside marking but the forecast is for rain Sunday and Monday. Typical Bank Holiday weather!

Hope you have a nice weekend planned whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

A bunch of flowers

I have had a very lovely weekend, full of crafting and good company so I am feeling very happy. You would have been able to see some photos of all the beautiful flowers in bloom here at the moment, the rhododendrons and clematis are all out and I was planning to take some photos on the way to my Simply Solids workshop yesterday for you but it started raining heavily so I just ran for the bus instead. Never mind I do have some floral treats for you in a bit.

First the workshop and the new shop. It opened in September but due to working lots of weekends this was my first visit. It is huge compared to the old one with a separate workshop area and so much fabric, and zips and lovely, lovely things.

Simply Solids new shop 2

Also my lovely friend Helen has started working there part-time so I was able to have a catch up with her as well. Here she on the left is with Lisa, one of the shop’s owners.

Simply Solids new shop 1

Do go and visit if you are in the area, it is is Slaithwaite, another pretty little village about 4 miles from Huddersfield. They also have online shopping.

The workshop was great, I made a block in rainbow fabric, the block was a lot simpler than I thought it would be, using the sewing strips together into a tube then cutting strips apart technique, so would definitely make this one again.

Scrappy Trip Along block 1

I will use this block for a kid’s bag, at least they won’t notice the less than perfect matching of the squares 😉  solids are so unforgiving but I love the colours.

Scrappy Trip Along block 2

I have been working on the lovely vintage embroidery log cabin blocks that I showed you last time,I ended up making five and am turning them into a bag for me.

Vintage log cabin block 11

This is the completed quilt that Hen House made from hers and I think more of these would make a very lovely quilt indeed. Not sure I have enough Liberty to do that as only have scraps so that may have to wait.

Hen House vintage embroidey quilt

Here are the blocks in detail, I have tried to use Liberty that co-ordinates with the central embroidery and love the scrappy nature of these. Not my usual style of have everything matching but I love them. These four will go to make the front of the bag with some denim from a recycled shirt.

This one was a bit bigger than the others so is going to be a pocket on the back for things like sunglasses as this bag is coming to Spain with me in August.

Vintage log cabin block 1

Vintage log cabin block 2

I am working at home a lot this week marking so am hoping for a little late afternoon crafting each day if all goes well. Hope that you have a nice week ahead. Thanks for visiting.

More light entertainment

I have been doing lots of lovely hand stitching over the last few weeks accompanied by some very interesting TV series that I thought I would share with you in case you. Both have been on UK channels recently but I have watched them on Netflix and DVD.

The first is inspired by a book I read some time ago called Jambusters by Julie Summers  which is about the work of the Women’s Institute. It was about the contribution made by women to the war effort though their preserving and other activities, particularly in rural areas.

The TV series is called Home Fires and was an excellent piece of drama with a great cast.Sadly the series was cancelled after two seasons but you can get it on Netflix and there are to be a series of books continuing the story which I shall definitely read.

Being interested in all things historical I loved looking at the 40s fashions, there were some great Fair Isle jumpers and beautiful tailored clothes as well as some fab floral pinnies!

HOME_FIRES_Fashions

Julie Summers has written a blog post about the fashions and also a book, Fashion on a Ration linked to an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

This vintage clothing blog has also got some more great pictures of the cast in costume. I also found a lovely Vintage Pattern blog that has links to free patterns for jumpers like these gorgeous ones below.

HomeFires Patterns

The other TV series was one my lovely daughter mentioned to me and then very kindly bought for me, I loved it and watched the whole thing in a day and a half. It is called Brief Encounters and is the story of women who work for Ann Summers selling, ‘exotic lingerie,’ and ,’marital aids’, in Sheffield in the early 1980s. Again a fabulous cast and the soundtrack was brilliant, a real blast from the past as 1982 was the year I left home and started college so I danced to all of those tunes many times!

Not quite such fabulous fashions in the 1980s, there was some very big hair in the series and a few really loud outfits but a great comedy with some very important storylines about love and family.

A CPL production for ITV.

Pictured: 

This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to Brief Encounters.

What I loved about both series are the storylines of women fighting to overcome their barriers, many things that we take for granted now, to be able to go out to work, earn their own money, contribute to the family and generally have a say in how their lives were led. Even though 40 years separate the two series some of the things that happen in the later one are sadly no different.

I have also been reading an excellent series of books. I was told about them by a friend many years ago who knew I liked history and recommended them. The series is called the Moorland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.

They trace the story of one family from the 1400s to the present day. I bought the first 3 books some years ago and rediscovered them in my bookcase and got hooked, only to find that there are now 36 in the series! I am currently enjoying book 16 which is set in the Regency in the 1800s.

They are again full of descriptions of the fashions as well as filling in all my history knowledge gaps. I am loving the details of ladies fashions such as this one below.

Regency Fashion

The family have a lot of strong female characters, most of which who defy convention by doing such scandalous things as running away to sea, nursing soldiers after the battle of Waterloo and refusing to marry the, ‘right man’.

I do love a good book and a great TV series. There is nothing nicer than spending the evening with a bit of stitching and some great stuff to watch, it makes me very happy. What have you been watching or reading lately, anything good?

I am off to the lovely Simply Solids this weekend for a class,my first visit to their new shop so I am very excited! I am going to be making some Scrappy Trip Along blocks for a quilt like this one.

Scrappy Trip Along quilt

We then have a Wool and Wine craft evening at a friend’s house so that will be a lovely day. Hope you have a good weekend and thanks for visiting.